President-elect Donald Trump’s team decided not to call upon the services of the inauguration announcer who has worked every parade for the past 60 years, according to a local Washington station.
Trump is choosing not to use Charles Brotman, 89, to announce his inaugural parade – breaking with decades of tradition that began with Brotman’s first inaugural gig for Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1957.
Brotman told ABC News’ D.C. affiliate he was “heartbroken” to learn he wouldn’t be announcing what would have been his 12th inaugural parade.
“I’ve been doing this for 60 years,” Brotman told WJLA.
“I was destroyed,” he added.
Brotman, once known as the voice of the Washington Senators baseball team, said he had already started to prepare for the upcoming inaugural parade before he learned he was not going to have a role.
The Trump team has instead asked Steve Ray, a 58-year-old freelance radio announcer, to announce the inaugural parade on Jan. 20. The Trump transition team said Brotman will be recognized as “Announcer Chairman Emeritus.”
“I want him to do good,” Brotman said of Ray.
He told WJLA he counts himself as “one lucky son of a gun” for having the opportunity to be the voice of the inaugural parade for 60 years.
Brotman said he is still unsure whether he will attend this year’s parade.
In the Trump team’s statement detailing parade plans, it recognized Brotman as “the voice of the inaugural parade.”
“Since 1957, millions of Americans and countless entertainers have come to recognize Charlie Brotman as the voice of the inaugural parade,” the statement said. “The Presidential Inaugural Committee will be proud to honor Charlie as Announcer Chairman Emeritus on January 20. We are thrilled for Steve Ray to be introducing a new generation of Americans to the grand traditions of the inaugural parade.”
Ray told The Washington Post he doesn’t see himself as Brotman’s replacement, but as the next announcer in line for the coveted role.
“All of us think of Charlie as as much of the Washington landscape as any building,” Ray said. “I’m on top of the world. From my point of view, I am not filling his shoes, I’m not taking his place, I just happen to be the guy who’s next.” (The Hill)